Helen Wu Wang, mom to a 14-month-old and a member of the AsianBossGirl podcast, said she experienced mom guilt after her son was born.
Being a mother is a blessing, but for some, it comes with certain feelings of guilt that women often experience about their kids. New mothers of this generation are more susceptible to mom guilt, which stems from unrealistic ideals of parenting that make you feel like what you are doing is not enough. Helen Wu Wang, mom to a 14-month-old and one-third of the trio behind the AsianBossGirl podcast, seemed to experience mom guilt after her son was born. Wang first struggled to understand her emotions, but when other mothers and podcast listeners connected with her, she started tuning into her feelings. "Mom guilt is something that I feel like I've felt for a while now," the 35-year-old told Good Morning America.
"I think ever since the birth of my child, when I didn't know how to hold him correctly, to now, even at the point where he's now 14 to 15 months, he has heightened separation anxiety - so anytime I go downstairs now to get coffee or to get lunch, it's just very difficult on him," Wang said. She associated her feelings of mom guilt with shame or not being enough. "It wasn't until I realized that it's something called mom guilt that I could identify it and say, 'OK, this is something that I can manage.' If I were to reframe my mindset, I can think about it in different ways and not feel so negative in these situations where I just feel so guilty being a mom."
With her son and husband, Philip Wang, one of the co-founders of Wong Fu Productions, Wang decided that she would not abandon her career and would continue to do her duty as the co-owner of a media company, podcast host, and author. "I do just want to, like, be with him all the time, but I know that for my sanity, it's not the best for me to always just be around him and to build on myself and do things for myself outside of just being a mom," Wang said. She included and invited like-minded Asian American voices to discuss sensitive stories and topics that should be talked about or normalized more often.
"A lot of times, I think mom guilt does arise from feeling alone, from feeling like you are just in the darkness of your room and ruminating in your mind and not sharing it, whether it's with your partner or with friends, or even if you do share it, they don't fully understand what you're going through," Wang said. "This is a topic that needs to be talked about more so that we can normalize these feelings so that people can manage it and not feel so alone in their minds thinking about this stuff."Below are some tips Wang shared that may be of some help if you are experiencing the same feeling. To tame mom's guilt, Wang has emphasized paying attention to negative self-talk, setting boundaries, receiving social support, and identifying priorities.
She would pull up the notes app, write down her feelings, and gradually understand patterns in her behavior. For boundaries, she says not to feel bad about focusing on your personal or professional life. Furthermore, Wang is all about surrounding yourself with supportive and realistic individuals. "I started to unfollow people who were only showing the highlight reel of what it's like to be an overly positive mom because I don't think that's realistic," Wang said. She concludes by saying that it is okay to ask for help. "You're literally juggling way too many balls. Some of them have to drop. So you have to think to yourself, "Which ones are you going to allow to drop so that it can bounce back up?" She adds, "I remind myself that it's not possible to do all of them and that I have to ask for help. And I have to be OK asking for help."